British author J.K. Rowling came under fire a few days ago for posting of tweets deemed transphobic by Twitter users. And English actor Daniel Radcliffe, who has starred in all eight Harry Potter movies, has called her out for it.

The tweet was in response to a piece by Devex, a media platform for the global development community, titled Opinion: Creating A More Equal Post-Covid-19 World For People Who Menstruate.

Rowling, 54, seemed to have taken offence to the phrase “people who menstruate” and suggested that only women menstruate. Twitter users were quick to point out that trans-men and non-binary people also menstruate.

Radcliffe, 30 – star of the film adaptations of the English writer’s popular Harry Potter series – took issue with her views in an essay that he wrote for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) non-profit organisation The Trevor Project on Monday (June 8).

While he acknowledged that Rowling was “unquestionably responsible” for the course his life had taken, he felt “compelled to say something at this moment”.

“Transgender women are women,” he wrote. “It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm.”

He asked Harry Potter fans to not let what happened affect their relationship with the stories.

“To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you.

“If you found anything in these stories that resonated with you and helped you at any time in your life – then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred. And in my opinion, nobody can touch that.”

Text: Aditi Bharade / The Straits Times / June 2020
Additional text: Sally Manik
Featured image: TPG Images